International activity

The National Research Council of Italy (CNR) has always paid special attention to international activity which has been for years one of its main features representing a fundamental aspect of the transformation that CNR is pursuing in order to properly face Third Millennium's challenges on research and technological development.

As of its birth in 1923, CNR was called to represent Italy within the International Research Council (IRC) and it was asked, the same year, to participate in IRC first meeting held in Brussels.

Despite the various restructurings and transformations, CNR's identity as a national multidisciplinary research institution remained unchanged throughout the past 80 years. The Council has always represented a significant presence and an important benchmark for the whole national and international scientific community, a source of wide range and qualified expertise, essential for the growth of the national scientific system’s competitiveness and for the creation of a review system able to assess the Italian Research performance according to the international evaluation criteria. In designing its most recent restructuring, CNR's Central Administration decided to set up two Divisions, both in charge of working on international issues:

Unit for European Relations 

Unit for International Relations

The Unit for European Relations is responsible for governing and managing CNR’s relationships with EU and other prominent International Scientific Organizations active within the European scenario, including monothematic research Organizations.                        

It ensures CNR participation in strategic and coordination activities carried out by MIUR and MAECI within the  European context, also in close connection with the Italian Permanent Representation, at EU.

It guarantees official relations with the National Representatives in the Framework Program’s Committees and with National Contact Points.

It is responsible for providing all CNR researchers with the appropriate assistance during the applying process for obtaining EU Framework Program’s grants. All potential applicants are ensured with a constant flow of information aimed at broadening the understanding of international and domestic rules/procedures concerning specific issues of the EU Framework Program and of other EU initiatives (detection of “Calls for proposals”; drafting of applications; management of projects/contracts; monitoring of the audit processes).

The Office encourages and supports the presence of CNR within programs and initiatives launched by other European research Organizations (Science Europe, EuroHorcs, COST, Eureka etc.), aimed at the building of the European Research Area.

Its Units in Genoa and Naples ensure, thanks to the presence of integrated competences on the territory, local support to CNR Institutes based in Northern and Southern Italy.

In order to better support CNR participation in the European Research Area (ERA), its branches, spread in the territory, have the specific task to support the identification of ERA policies and key-tools: the Genoa unit is in charge of European Infrastructures and researchers’ mobility; Naples unit is responsible for multilateral strategies and cooperation with non-EU Countries (in the framework of European policies), while the Brussels branch works at Joint Programming Initiatives.

The Unit for International Relations financially supports and promotes the exchange of researchers for the development of jointly agreed research projects and of individual scientific activity, via bilateral Agreements on scientific and technological cooperation signed with corresponding research organizations in all Countries and in all continents. Within their framework, the Office also backs the organization of bilateral seminars. It promotes the participation of Italian researchers in scientific activities carried out by foreign institutions thanks to the program of Short Term Mobility (STM). It supports and maintains close relations of collaboration with the Italian scientific attachés at the Italian Representations abroad (Calls for scholarships intended to young graduates have been recently published) and with the scientific diplomats of the Embassies of foreign Countries in Italy.

Thanks to the increasing institutional relationships with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) aimed at strengthening the role of Science within Diplomacy as an additional tool available to the Italian foreign policy, a further program of multi-sectoral training called DIPLOMAzia has been created.It is mainly supported by MAECI’s General Directorate for Development Cooperation with the purpose of fostering joint initiatives with emerging Countries.  

Over and above ensuring, together with the specific units of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of the Ministry of  University and Research, the Italian representatives within the large international Organizations and the non-governmental international Institutions, the Office manages the scientific activities deriving from the intergovernmental Agreements.

It furthermore participates in the carrying out and management of significant international initiatives and important international scientific projects.



Last update: 24/01/2023